Possibilities.

Blogroll

I was born into a habitus of endless possibilities. I have been told ever since that I could do anything I could (although I was steered into a certain direction that maybe did not suit me the best after all). And the problem is that I could do anything I wanted, except for maybe singing, activities including a lot of falling on the ground and playing. I could do sports, create art, dance, become pretty good at biology or math, languages, some minor design projects, I could help you with choosing your new phone and even dug into things as uncreative as accounting. And, you know what, I did OK to say the least.

The problem is that I never could focus on one thing, nothing fulfilled me to the extent when I could just say This is my thing, I’m going to put all my efforts into this. And the fact is that I’m soon a year older and still do not know what my thing is. There is so much that is close to my heart, and I am and am not all of them at the same time.

Fortunately, I have some breaks in my life at the moment that bring me down to earth. The first one is the recurring depression (haha, I know, you are probably going like “Nooo, not that shit again” and you are right, I stop right here) that has made me take a break and restart my life-line at that time a few times, improve it, rethink it, adjust it. Another one is, of course, my little girl. She keeps reminding about what really matters in life. And then there is the nature and its cycles the four distinct seasons and the different energy they bring about with them. These are things that make me refocus, albeit in a rough and lengthy way.

I will never be a true expert on *something*, but I will be able to work in any settings and with a wide range of issues, I don’t find the joy in digging deep as much as I like to stick my nose into many pots at the same time. I can adjust a bit, but I cannot change my way of thinking.

And then, after the initial paralysing pain that comes with comparing myself to everyone and everything has faded away, I look around and see that everything is as it should be. Right now. I’m a year older now and even so more thankful for being alive right now.

Kotipiha. Hemgården. Backyard.

Multiculturalism.

Blogroll, Immigrant integration, thinking aloud

The annual World Village Festival (Maailmaa kylässä) had been planned for the last week and due to youknowwhat has been cancelled. Well, in the light of the Black Lives Matter protests I here, under the veil of the internet, admit here that I have always been slightly sceptical towards the mission of the festival. What or whom does it want to present, and more importantly, why and how?

Originally the goal was to present civil society actors, but it has since grown into a festival for, well, anyone who is interested in anything society-related and freebies. There is a particular geo-cultural theme every year, it draws attention to global issues, but it does that using Finland-based participants, organisations, experts, minorities. It is multicultural, but it is also very Finnish in doing so. It draws attention to the difference, it exoticises (autocorrect suggested eroticies) immigrants’ cultures in Finland and overshadows their endeavour to be accepted into the society and treated as its part.

I’m afraid that (not) attending this festival has become one of those markers that divide the society into tolerant and multicultural and -conscious and the rest. And you do not want to be the rest. It is a low-threshold large event for anyone who is not racist and who is positive towards sustainable material and cultural practice (basically, pretty much anyone). Attendance at the festival is performing a cultural role, presenting your NGO labels you as open and receptive without actually needing to do anything in these matters. That’s why organisations that are not known for being culturally or otherwise aware attend and try toimprove the public image.

Don’t get me wrong, the festival is great fun to attend, but it is an experience that should be treated with a pinch of salt. The way I use it is that I collect the festival guide with the list of participants (and put it into use in fact!), get some good “ethnic” food, pick-up freebies and greet friends. The rest I’m a bit careful about. Having said that, I don’t have an answer ready on how to get the general public interested in global issues, but I don’t think that having local Somali association, crafted handbag vendor, Perussuomalaiset, soy milk producer, African dance workshop and serious expert talks under one (open) roof.

The festival has grown so much as it has outgrown us. And for me, Black Lives have always Mattered.

Sprouts.

Art, Corona, Finland, photography, Picture a day, Pikku

Everything around us is sprouting, growing, bubbling, oozing and pushing through. The leaves have already appeared on the trees, again, almost unnoticed, and one morning I looked at Her and she, too, she has grown so much. I’m not in the best of my states, but then I look at her and see the wisdom in her eyes and I know that at least one thing is going well. She is.

Now I have a great feature photo and, who knows, maybe a little click-bait? Well since you are here, please note that I also updated the Project Emergency portfolio today. I’m a bit proud of it, with all its imperfections it does capture a certain period of my life – and everybody’s life, in fact, we are in it together.

Be blessed.

Parallel.

Art, nature, Picture a day

I had to wait for my 35 mm film scan, and then jigged a little when I finally received the link to the scans. I won’t bore you with pictures of L. aka the most photographed object since may 2018. Instead, I chose these straight lines. I say, how exciting.

Beach bushes in making.

These *plant* (sorry, I paid zero attention to the species) had so much energy inside. Having felt the spring sun, they quickly grew upwards following a nearly perfect straight line. One by one, side by side. I loved the sight, it was so relatable, so juvenile and honest.

Today I noticed that I hardly ever write when feeling a spurt of energy, rather, I “wait” for a post-migraine palsy or a depression bit or 11pm after another toddler day or those 5 minutes I have before needing to run to the nursery. See, it is a form of a therapy, or effort to normalise my situation and feelings as it stands. Well at the moment I’m riiight in the middle of one or more of the above-mentioned and am now enjoying my flimsy wings that will carry me out of it. At least half-way.

What I enjoy – and what brings me down in the end.

Blogroll

One of the reasons why I have not found pure satisfaction in my life is that… that I enjoy and am curious about too many things. I’m too versatile. I’m too flexible. I’m too adaptable. I don’t strive to develop any niche skill, I do not strive to become best at something. I’m good at many things, but not good enough to make a difference in anybody’s life.

Decaying concrete jetty in Espoo. Cracked like my soul, hehehe. Celestial impression is not by me, it is this crazy pre-exposed effect by revolog.

Pure blasphemy, isn’t it – said many, including yourself probably – you are a person of so many talents, how dare you complain and how come you are not making a career. Well simply because I’m too unsettled to get settled and focused. I’m superficial in my curiosity, all I need is to find out how it works; typically I won’t need more detailed knowledge.

And it is indeed a problem, because the way the job market works is that once you are among the highly educated, you should have some niche knowledge, or at least extensive knowledge of anything. But there is no common denominator for things I like and do not suck at. I’m just embodiment of random, difficultly marketable passions, eventually equalling mediocrity.

Not having a niche passion, skill or interest makes my life quite had, it always had – it started in my childhood when my wide range of interests clashed with very limited organized hobby activities I participated at. No matter what we read in the media, no matter how nicely I wrap up my life on LinkedIn, to those who have not met me at least, I will always be the incomprehensible underachieving foreigner. And yes, this lack of understanding and the lack of interest to give me a change, that brings me down.

It is ironic, isn’t, in my public life I fight labelling, and now I’m wishing I had a comfortable label to hide behind.

These are among things I enjoy: Reading, writing, talking, drawing, learning languages, graphic design, communicating, marketing (but only things I burn for), architecture, typography, calligraphy, art in general, photography, graphology, various graphic techniques, anthropology, sociology, geography, cartography, physics (yes), ecology, flirting, social impact analysis, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, urban exploring, electronic music, outdoors, helping people in need, baking, minimalism, cooking (not including weekly dinners though), barefoot shoes, nursing, risk management, natural medicine, non-toxic lifestyle, mental health championing, zero waste movement, second-hand stores, yoga, meditation, travelling, hiking, medicine as a discipline, crafts and arts, jewellery making, urban planning, the sea, the forest, the mountains, Scandinavia, Caucasus, south of Germany, early education. And I enjoy every single of them.

Nearly a year ago.

Blogroll, Corona, Finland, Helsinki, photography, Picture a day

Getting scans from a long-forgotten film made my day (thanks!). Well, that and that Lidl stocks my favourite (read: the only I ever liked) mineral water for at least a short bit. I was so astounded I actually gaped from underneath my face mask. From this you can see how desperately lonely I have been lately, and no, I do not only mean the covid-situation, although that certainly is not helping. Enough of sobbing.

Anyways, the pictures reminded me of the worry-free summer last year, of the warmth that we have been waiting for (and got snow instead) and, of course, of how tiny the tiny one was last summer. It felt and it still actually feels like reading a book for some time and then lingering in the plot and the settings for the rest of the day (or night). So here, my three (or so) faithful readers, enjoy some black-and-white Finland’s sun.

Because all is well.

Blogroll, Corona, Lifestyle

We are not spending too much time around others, we are not taking collective transport and we have become experts on getting on each other’s nerves – and my wanderlust is on level 534. Instead of dividing my active time between family and working on that PhD a few hours per day I would prefer doing, errr, pretty much anything right now – including actually staying at home and having time for things. Especially now when I have so many unfinished projects and project ideas going on that I’m ashamed of myself as a human being.

Too bad? No. It is how it is, we are all reasonably healthy, we are developing some extreme partnership skills and the weather has been pleasantly random. Oh and of course, Lela won’t stop amazing (and draining) me . Ever. So I don’t think I should mention this ever again, because content is gold.

So I’m just writing this to save myself a moment and let you all know that all, after all, is well.

Diary.

Blogroll, Finland, Winter frolics

I’ve been keeping a diary for some time now – for various reasons. It has helped me to focus and stay sharp; also, it is a habit that I have been able to keep. The problem is that it has kept me from sharing myself online, which I think is a pity. Not that my visitor numbers would be high, I just thought I could peeking out again. So hello!

Reeds and attempts of ice on an unusually warm Sunday in late January. In South Finland, that is. Wait, it is February already… this picture has just lost some of its charm 😀

I have been properly activating myself, signing up for a lot of voluntary activities that I do not burn for (that was the idea) and trying to get busy with art again although a certain someone has been successfully stopping me from it. I have been rather grateful lately – for health, for material wealth, for wisdom and… for the fact that I have been able to avoid ways of living that would destroy me in the long run. Also, for the skills I have been developing in the past years – patience, fatigue resistance and humbleness.

And I think that Dry February is absolute bullsh*t – everybody who feel like they should take part in it might like to look at their alcohol consuming habits and other life choices in general. But the whole challenge made me think about my identity, my presence, my visibility.

I’m afraid I will never make it into the news – I’m not an exceptional scientist (in fact, I do not want to work in research), I don’t take drugs or drink and I don’t think I will need to recover from dependency on these, I don’t live in a country exotic enough to my compatriots and because I ignore social media I remain invisible to most people (including my peers). My health troubles have prevented me from achieving what I had imagined, but they are not interesting or serious enough. My art is breakthrough in its honesty, that is, how little I depend on Photoshop and general augmentation and instead rely on tangible media. My life is not drastically minimalist or zero-waste, my taste is somehow different but not crazy enough. I’m not exceptionally anything, but I’m exceptional. And I feel good about that.

20&20.

Art, Blogroll, Finland, Lifestyle

It took me a short while to write that first post of 2020 – I thought it would be a bold post full of emotions, resolutions, plans, optimism and gratitude. It did not turn out so, instead, I’m here to tell everyone that I probably have a roller-coaster-ride year ahead. And also I so need to share with you how tired and low-key depressed I am and how much I’m bubbling inside, impatient to create.

I’m now writing pieces of my theses, some days I enjoy it more than others, most times I get frustrated over my own inabilities and un-s and in-s and dis-s. And then there are days like today, when I go and pick up L* from daycare, the sun is shining and we take the long way to the shops. Via parks, swings, duck ponds and reminders of winter that is yet to come. Every day like this makes me realise how much hard work I – and most of us – put into the beige or grey mass of everyday life in hope of getting happy moments of shiny success or glory. But at the end of the day, the most satisfying pleasures are the every day ones. Just like eating that 80% chocolate or pressing the stop button on the bus.

Tiny treasure.
We found some colours outside! In January.
I just made a visual statement: it is January after all, although a bit less wintery for my liking.

Enough of basic bitch life wisdom – the time is.. late so I’d better join my better third in bed and see what tomorrow will bring! Hopefully not another headache.

What I miss from Czechia.

Blogroll, Lifestyle

Pretty much all expats miss (and will definitely tell you about) certain material things from their home countries – this is nothing rational, rather, pure materialised homesickness and nostalgia. Typically, those little things are by no means necessary for survival in the new country and can be enjoyed through all respective senses and are often connected to the taste and smell of home (I’m not too thick on Czech sweets, soda, booze, or cuisine), or, have something to do with the overall comfort of life. In my case, these are things related to accessibility of networks, services, and to arts and crafts.

So what are the things I miss most from Czechia,

my fatherland given up a long time ago?

Family and friends – goes without saying.

Stores. (German-style) drugstores. Affordable organic produce stores. Variety of and in stores. Stationery stores (!). Toy stores. Convenience stores.

Koh-i-noor and Centropen stationery.

Marinated beef sirloin with cream sauce – like once a year.

Proximity of Europe and easy train/car travel to the rest of Europe.

Variety of flours.

Variety of shoe brands available, including Czech brands. I’m tired of those four (sub-par) shoestore chains in Finland.

Herbal and homeopathic remedies widely available.

Ingredients for making own detergents and cleaning products as a part of a non-toxic life style.

This kind of ruler. Sorry, but how on earth do kids learn to draw perpendicular lines in other countries?

And of course the landscape, although I never thought I would admit that.